By Haruna Salami
The chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Honourable Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo has expressed optimism that the NDDC will be a platform for the transformation of the Niger Delta region.
He said the committee would do its best to ensure that its oversight functions will ensure that every Kobo appropriated will be accounted for the development of the people.
“I want to assure you that by the grace of Almighty God, we will ensure that every kobo of the Niger Delta people works for the people”.
Tunji-Ojo, representing Akoko North East/North West federal constituency spoke on Wednesday when he received the “Icon of Transparency and Anti Corruption” award of the National Assembly New Media Forum (forum of Online Journalists) in Abuja.
The lawmaker noted that the journey for the rebranding of the NDDC will not stop with the issue of the probe, adding “that is just a very minor part of our journey. Our major desire is to be able to handover a well-structured organisation that will have an unparallel level of efficiency in terms of the legislative framework for people coming after us”.
Tunji-Ojo, apparently quoting former US President, Barack Obama, said “for any organization to develop, we have to concentrate more on building strong institutions rather than strong personalities” adding, “we are going to work on laws of NDDC to make abuse of office difficult or impossible for anybody”.
According to him, the money going into the Niger Delta was enough to transform the region, but wondered “what have we seen over the years? Nothing to show for it. It makes me sad as a Niger Deltan and now that God has given us this opportunity to contribute our quota, we will not fail the people”.
“The Niger Delta region gives oil accounting for more than 70 percent of the revenue of this country and the money going into the Niger Delta is enough to transform the region.
“We will be abusing the grace of God on our lives if we do not take the decisive action of committing to work,” he said.
He appreciated the New Media Forum of the National Assembly for the award. “I want to thank you not because of the award, but because during the process of the probe you stood by the Nigerian people”.
“In this era when we know there are always two sides to every story, and anybody can decide to promote every side that pleases him or her, but you decide to promote the truth.
“I have to say this very clearly that our efforts wouldn’t have been possible without the active support of the leadership of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly, most especially from the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who stood by us and gave us all the support for us to excel in that bational assignment.
Earlier, in his remarks, chairman of the forum, Yemi Itodo said the award was sequel toTunji-Ojo’s transparent disposition during the committee’s probe of NDDC, in addition to his many legislative exploits on the floor of the House, in terms of quality legislations and unequaled oversight functions.